Playwright David Ives finds his timing perfectly
Film director Roman Polanski had invited him to a snazzy cafe to talk more about adapting his Tony Award-nominated play “Venus in Fur” into a movie when the pair spotted the chic “God of Carnage” playwright Yasmina Reza sitting with a distinguished-looking gentleman. After the trio exchanged greetings, the mysterious man was introduced as renowned writer Milan Kundera, whose books include “The Unbearable Lightness of Being.”
It was all a little surreal for Ives, who maintains a down-to-earth modesty even though he’s kind of a big thing, too. “You feel like your brain is going to start on fire. You feel like burning phosphorous in company like that,” he recalls of the meeting, laughing. “What do you say to Milan Kundera? ‘How is your crepe?'”
Heady stuff indeed, but Ives, a wire-thin man who favors gin martinis as dry as his wit, is enjoying quite a bit of limelight after steadily building an unorthodox career first as a playwright of one-act comedies and lately as a sought-after theatrical medic.
The playwright is this month celebrating the 20th anniversary of his first big success — “All in the Timing” — a collection of six short plays that he jokes “catapulted me into obscurity.”